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New York StateUnified Court System

Court Services


Mediation | Interpreters | Court Reporters | Help Centers | Guardian Ad Litem | Assigned Counsel Project | Security | ADA | Volunteer Lawyers Project | Interactive Telephone Service

Mediation

Did you know that you may be able to resolve your dispute through mediation? Mediation is a free, voluntary and confidential service that helps people who have a dispute to reach their own settlement. Instead of asking a judge to make a decision in court, the people meet with a trained mediator who helps them make their own decision on how to settle the dispute. If a settlement is reached, it is then put in writing and signed. This written settlement then becomes a legal contract. If the people in the dispute are not able to reach an agreement that is acceptable to everyone involved, they are then free to ask a judge to hear there case and make a decision in court.

You may read more about mediation in the publication " Resolving Your Case Through Mediation."

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Interpreters

In this diverse city, where many litigants speak numerous languages other than English, it often becomes necessary to provide a neutral interpreter to interpret for one or more parties in a case. The Civil Court employs full time interpreters in Spanish, Creole, Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese, and Russian. Temporary per diem interpreters are arranged by the court for all languages other than those listed previously. The court also employs a sign language interpreter. Only official court interpreters may interpret in court proceedings. There is no charge for the use of an interpreter.

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Court Reporters

Court reporters are employed by the Civil Court to record and provide transcripts of court proceedings. There is no charge for the recording of a court proceeding by a court reporter. The cost of obtaining a transcript, which is a typed document of the court proceeding, is most often paid for by the litigants. Persons eligible for poor person's relief may be able to obtain a transcript without cost. Arrangements to obtain and pay for a transcript are made directly with the reporter or reporters who recorded the proceeding. Litigants involved in a proceeding should obtain the name and telephone number of the court reporter prior to the conclusion of the matter. In the event that information is needed regarding a court reporter's name and contact information, a litigant may contact the part where the case was heard or the clerk's office if there is no clerk assigned to the part.

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Help Centers

There are six Help Centers in the New York City Civil Court buildings. The Help Center is a place where a person without a lawyer can go to get free legal and procedural information on how to proceed in court. Each Help Center has Court Attorneys trained to give legal and procedural information on Housing, Civil and Small Claims Court procedures, free brochures, pamphlets and booklets on legal topics, free internet for legal help, videos and community seminars to watch, and information about legal help, rental help and social services help. The Help Centers also offer Do It Yourself (DIY) programs. Litigants can create the necessary forms to file answers and restore cases to the calendar.

Learn more about the Help Centers, including hours and locations.back to top


Guardian Ad Litem

The Civil Court administers a program that provides judges with a pool of Guardians Ad Litem (GALs) to assist litigants who are unable to adequately protect their rights in Housing Court case. GALs are trained by the Court to safeguard the rights and prevent the eviction of such litigants. A GAL who serves in Housing Court can be an attorney or a non-attorney. GALs are compensated if a litigant is also a client of Adult Protective Services (APS). Otherwise the GAL serves on a volunteer basis.

Learn more about the role of the GALs in Housing Court.

 


Assigned Counsel Project

The Assigned Counsel Project (ACP) helps seniors at risk for eviction. It is a partnership program between the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA) and the Civil Court of the City of New York that provides seniors with FREE legal and social work services to help resolve their Housing Court case.

To be eligible for the program, seniors must be 60 of age or older, have an identifiable social service need, and a pending Housing Court case. Such seniors could be facing eviction due to either nonpayment of rent or holdover allegations. Other eligible seniors include those trying to evict a room-mate whom they believe may hurt them or does not want to leave or an owner trying to evict a tenant.

The ACP is available to seniors living in NYC.

Learn more about the program including how a senior may seek to be considered for eligibility. back to top


Security

Security in the Civil Court is provided by Uniform Court Officers, who pass a civil service test and successfully complete a training program through the Court Officer Training Academy. Some court officers are trained in emergency medical procedures, such as CPR and respond to medical emergencies in the courthouse until Emergency Medical Services arrives. Court officers are assigned to courtrooms and other public areas. Any security concerns from the public should be brought to the attention of any uniformed court officer.

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ADA

The Civil Court of the City of New York has representatives in each of its county divisions to assist members of the public and attorneys with any ADA issues that may arise. These concerns include, but are not limited to, access to this court's facilities, case and procedural information, assistive listening devices, etc.

If any assistance is needed you can contact these representatives at the following numbers:

Bronx Housing Court
1118 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10456
Josefina Rondon (718) 466-3004, jrondon@courts.state.ny.us
Scott Caplan (718) 466-3004, scaplan@courts.state.ny.us

Bronx Civil Court
851 Grand concourse, Bronx, NY 10451
Danine Bernier, (718) 618-2561, dbernier@courts.state.ny.us
William Gonzalez, (718) 618-2566, wgonzale@courts.state.ny.us
Marisia Maziquez, (718) 618-2518, mmazique@courts.state.ny.us

Kings Civil Court
141 Livingston Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Audrey McIver, (347) 404-9256, AMCIVER@courts.state.ny.us

New York Housing Court
111 Centre Street, New York, NY 10013
Antonella Tropea (646) 386-5531, Aetropea@courts.state.ny.us
Bob Johnson, (646)386-5737, rjohnson@courts.state.ny.us

New York Civil Court
111 Centre Street, New York, NY 10013
James Lopez, (646)386-5504, jlopez@courts.state.ny.us
Mary Smythe, (646)386-5506, Msmythe@courts.state.ny.us

Harlem Community Justice Center
170 East 121st Street, New York, NY 10035
Tyrone Fogle, (212) 360-4113, tjfogle@courts.state.ny.us

Queens Civil Court
89-17 Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica, NY 11435
Al Malafronte, (718) 262-7300, amalfron@courts.state.ny.us

Richmond Civil Court
927 Castleton Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10310
Deborah Tortorice, (718) 675-8459, dtotori@courts.state.ny.us

All Civil Court buildings and bathrooms are wheelchair accessible.

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Volunteer Lawyers Project

The Civil Court runs a Volunteer Lawyers Project to help self-represented litigants - people who do not have a lawyer. Volunteer lawyers work in the Court’s Help Centers alongside experienced and knowledgeable Help Center Court Attorneys, also known as Pro Se Attorneys.

Volunteer lawyers trained by the Project provide free legal information and advice in Housing, Civil and Small Claims cases. They review court papers, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the case, help fill out forms, and help plan the next steps in the case. Volunteer lawyers do not go to court or file papers.

Learn when a volunteer lawyer will be in your county.

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Interactive Telephone Service

Another valuable Civil Court service is the interactive telephone service, which provides legal and procedural information. It is available at (646) 386-5700 for general Civil and Small Claims matters or (646) 386-5750 for Housing matters. The service is also provided 24 hours and is available in Spanish.

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